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Fright Night (2011)  rating

Review: written May 2021

A vampire movie that doesn't suck

Fright Night (2011)

Comedy / Horror is a hard thing to do – ‘An American Werewolf in London’ is one of the few examples I can think of that managed to provoke both laughs and horror in the same movie truly successfully. Alas, while this unasked for Fright Night remake passes the time and has a great cast licking their lips with relish at the absurdity of the proceedings, it fails to either provide true jumps or squeamishness (unless they are of the type where the soundtrack goes quiet…quiet.. BANG!), and only a slight smattering of laughs. The laughs come not so much from gags, as from absurd moments that provoke a smile, such as David Tennant’s Vegas-style illusionist entertainer struggling to find a comfortable pose in his extravagant chair while wrestling with his nether regions, complaining about his leather trousers chafing.

Frances McDormand has a fairly slight role, but the late Anton Yelchin provides a charismatic lead to make watching the movie not too much of a chore. He is the teen who finds out a vampire (Colin Farrell) has moved in next door in their suburban street just outside Vegas. The gag here is that in Vegas vampires can go almost unnoticed, since they aren’t the only ones who are up all night and sleeping all day, but the resulting setting is a remarkably dull grey version of suburbia that does little for the movie and looks bland on screen.

The title music by Ramin Djawadi promises a movie of exciting Gothic light-hearted thrills, and may well be the closest the movie comes to fulfilling this promise. Sadly the rest of the movie is predictable and lacklustre by comparison. It manages a tone of tongue-in-cheek kitchiness, but it fails to deliver much in the way of comedy or thrills. I did smile, and I did jump at a “bang!” moment, but it wasn’t enough to make me feel the movie had truly delivered.

Fright Night (2011)

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